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The Google News Dilemma 310

Posted by timothy
from the to-beta-or-not-to-beta dept.
(54)T-Dub writes "Wired has an interesting article about the status of news.google.com. It has been 3 years since its release and the major bugs have long since been ironed out, so why is it still in beta? Apparently, it's because Google hasn't been able to figure out how to make money off of it. Slapping up some Google Adwords seems like the obvious solution. The problem is that Google News has multi-million-dollar news publishers scared because of the incredibly low-cost method that Google has employed to bring us 'up the minute news.' Currently they are able to scrape the content of news sites under fair use because they are not using it for commercial purposes. Once they move away from the nonprofit, educational purposes of their system they can expect to be deluged by cease and desist orders. Before you break out the tissue box though, remember that google sent their own cease and desist orders to a Google News RSS feeder a few months back."
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The Google News Dilemma

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  • Dilemma? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:29PM (#10388197)
    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=dilemma&r =67
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:29PM (#10388203)
    ...visit Google News [google.com].
  • I disagree (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:30PM (#10388219)
    One major bug still exists -- the bot cannot separate news from opinion and other trash. It's a sloppy orgy of miscellaneous content that should somehow be more carefully organized before being released.
    • Re:I disagree (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LS (57954)
      Hmm, you sound like a troll. All news sources are more or less biased in one direction or another, even if simply by ommitting information. "Opinion" pieces are simply news articles that pass some arbitrary threshold of bias.

      LS
      • Re:I disagree (Score:5, Interesting)

        by spiritraveller (641174) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @07:08PM (#10389174)
        Hmm, you sound like a troll. All news sources are more or less biased in one direction or another, even if simply by ommitting information. "Opinion" pieces are simply news articles that pass some arbitrary threshold of bias.

        That is the popular notion.

        A news article provides facts and at least attempts to be unbiased. Opinions pieces are NOT news articles, because they contain boldly stated opinions, and they make no attempt to appear unbiased.

        As you point out, any news provided by humans is somewhat biased (for what it chooses to include if nothing else), but that doesn't mean we should just throw in the towel and declare that all news is opinion.

        If you're going to say that, why don't we just say that all facts are opinion. You might as well point out the potential for bias in the optic nerve. You never know what kinds of interference might occur between the eye and brain... so why believe anything?

        A healthy dose of skepticism is a good thing. But to assume that all journalists have an alterior motive, is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

        • Re:I disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

          by LS (57954) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @08:19PM (#10389728) Homepage
          Actually, I would defnitely agree that there is potential for bias in the optic nerve (or more precisely the visual cortex). Flocks of ducks are often mistaken for a fleet of UFOs at sunset. The brain biases information to what it wants to see when presented with limited information.

          And you are correct: There are no facts. Everything is subject to human interpretation (unless you are somehow one with the universe and are aware of some facts without them being filtered through your or someone elses brain first).

          I understand your point that the intent of the item determines whether it is news (providing "facts" vs. explicit "opinions"). The problem is that the intent doesn't change the actual content. Watch Fox News for instance - opinion pieces are passed off as news items daily. Virtually every major news entity is backed by a large corporation which filters and adjusts its reporting to align with its interests. The viewer may see something that looks like a news report, but in fact is an ad, an opinion piece, or a suggestion that adjusts the viewer's perspective.

          Even a formally journalist trained with no axe to grind (say he's writing for a time capsule) can't help to be biased - he can only report what is available to his senses and can be communicated with his language - and we all know how language contains MANY inherent biases.

          LS
    • Re:I disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:35PM (#10388295)

      One major bug still exists -- the bot cannot separate news from opinion and other trash. It's a sloppy orgy of miscellaneous content that should somehow be more carefully organized before being released.


      Neither can CBS, FOX, CNN, NPR ...
    • It's a sloppy orgy of miscellaneous content that should somehow be more carefully organized before being released. Sounds like a general description of every website on the web... why should google news be any different?
    • Re:I disagree (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Hobbex (41473) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:46PM (#10388445)
      I recently sent this to their "suggest-source" address:

      I suggest that you add the following news source:

      http://www.kcna.co.jp/index-e.htm

      to Google news. It is the official news service of the Democratic
      Peoples Republic of Korea.

      If not, I am wondering how this is different from Xinhua, another
      propaganda organization of a dictorial government, whose articles are
      often featured highly on Google news?
      • Re:I disagree (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Maudib (223520) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @06:25PM (#10388829)
        http://www.kcna.co.jp is quite possibly the best website on the web. Quite seriously, I read them every day. Its like right in our very own world there is a real live Bond villain who has taken over half a country and is now running the news. I read their diatribes, then think of the Dear Leaders awesome haircut; and I think that just maybe, the world is kinda cool for a second.

      • xinhua, while often having its own chinese propaganda spin on world events, is actually capable of reporting real news. this is especially true for events which don't directly concern china. it's often an interesting contrast to "western" news sources, as it has a different viewpoint on some things. it's no more biased than pentagon press releases, al jazeera, or fox news. as a google news user, you get to choose where you get your news from.

        the kcna, on the other hand, is entirely a propaganda tool.
    • Re:I disagree (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fdiskne1 (219834)
      Earlier today, it was linked to a parody story, but the Google News page linked to it as if it was a legitimate news article.
    • Re:I disagree (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcc (14761)
      Hmm, do you actually read Google News? In my experience they're generally very good about identifying and tagging all links to op-ed or editorial pieces with a little (opinion) tag.

      Err, wait, acutally, now that I look, I can't find any (opinion) tags anywhere on Google News today, even in searches for editorials. The (press release) tags still show up but not the (opinion)s. Hmm, maybe it's considered still in beta because they're still experimenting with changing features on a daily basis?
    • Re:I disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mad_Rain (674268) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @06:00PM (#10388617) Journal
      One major bug still exists -- the bot cannot separate news from opinion and other trash.

      As soon as most people can separate opinion from "the news", I'll start complaining about not having a bot that can do it. Until then, news.google.com is doing pretty damn well (It's the homepage on most of the computers I use).
    • Re:I disagree (Score:5, Interesting)

      by p2sam (139950) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @06:13PM (#10388722)
      It actually comforts me to find what I consider to be propaganda on news.google.com. If you only wish to find journalism which wholely agrees with your world view, then by all means stay away from news.google.com. When it comes to news, multiple contrasting sources will better approximate reality than a monolithic pool.
    • "One major bug still exists -- the bot cannot separate news from opinion and other trash. It's a sloppy orgy of miscellaneous content that should somehow be more carefully organized before being released."

      Kinda like Slashdot then, right? Apparently even adding a human element can't "separate news from opinion and other trash"

      Hey, not trying to troll...but that's the cold truth from where I'm sittin'
  • by chill (34294) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:30PM (#10388223) Journal
    1. Create some cool web portal things
    2. Drive traffic to it
    3. ??
    4. Profit!

    Google, like the rest of the world, is still stuck on figuring out #3. :-)

    -Charles
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:31PM (#10388230)
    well they can still take stories out of your gmail account and present those as news
    • well they can still take stories out of your gmail account and present those as news


      And in other news...

      Your sister just broke it off with that jerk she was dating.

      And your mother's VCR didn't work on the timed record setting last night. Please let her know if any of your friends have "Trading Spouses" on tape.
  • by stratjakt (596332) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:31PM (#10388237) Journal
    Then threatens to sue anyone who web-scrapes them.

    Oh, but one guy said something warm and fuzzy once about "do no harm" so they're a Good(tm) giant, soulless corporation, like Apple or IBM.

    Oh, and thanks for GMail. ABSOLUTE GENIOUS. I was searching high and low for a way to introduce more advertisements into my e-mail, and Google delivered.
    • I love my gmail account. Makes searching through old emails painless. Not to mention the awesome spam filter. I mean, it's a free webmail, you have to expect ads, and the google ads are not intrusive at all. It's not like they turn words in your emails into links or something. In fact, I'm suprised hotmail hasn't started doing that already.

      Oh, and don't even get me started about the ease of use. Would you like a gmail invite to try it out?
    • Er, did their cease and desist notice threaten suit?

      Like the submission said, they can scrape and list the original content under fair use, but they are and should be worried about the legality of syndicating it to a third party.
    • I don't believe that they're web-scraping. I believe that they're subscribing to news feeds from those sources. The news sources don't object; I believe that they sign up. Which means that they don't have to scrape; the get the results pre-digested. Most of those sites don't offer open RSS feeds; they offer them only to Google.

      It tends to drive people to those news sites, since Google doesn't report the whole story. That's why the news sites participate: it gets eyeballs to their ads (and maybe to su
    • Oh, and thanks for GMail. ABSOLUTE GENIOUS. I was searching high and low for a way to introduce more advertisements into my e-mail, and Google delivered.

      More advertisements? Have you seen hotmail, or any of the other free-webmail sites? I'll take a few text ads over big ad-banners. Not to mention some other nice features (Good searching, lots of space, labels, good keyboard controls). It sounds like you're just burnt out from all the gmail hype. It isn't the second coming of Christ but it is a well don

  • by stomv (80392) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:32PM (#10388255) Homepage
    So what if Google News doesn't make money? If it's another great product by Google (tm?), then it still reinforces the idea that google does great things.

    The financial return from the news portion doesn't have to come in dollars. It can simply come from "good will" and "brand value." Those are items that show up on the balance sheet too.

    [rumor]Perhaps google will buy out a news entity in the future[/started]
    • by alexhmit01 (104757) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:37PM (#10388338)
      No they do not.

      Good Will on a Balance Sheet is the "excess" paid for a company when the acquisition is accounted for using the Purchase Method (the only one now allowed). You take all the acquired company's assets, price them to "fair market value" and make them assets on your book, then whatever premium you paid is "good will." You used to have to amortize Good Will over 40 years (because it isn't real), but now you get to keep it as "brand value" or whatever, and if it ever becomes worth less, you can write it down then.

      HOWEVER, developing your own brand value, you can't put that on the balance sheet because how would you value it? Do you think that Google can just say, hmm, Google News is really cool, let's add another $10m this quarter to the good will account. Lookie here, $10m in revenue because we increased this asset?

      Before stating that things show up somewhere in financials and give armchair advice, you might want to research what they are.

      Good Will on a balance sheet is VERY DIFFERENT from what Good Will is in conventional thought.

      Alex
      • Of course you can put it on a balance sheet. You call it marketing, companies pay A LOT for marketing, they put out commercials, ads in webpages, magazinges, newpapers, and countless other places.

        Look at what most commercials are selling nowadays, how often is the commercial actually on the product? Heck you see computer commercials that are based more on the company image than the computer! People are becoming more and more suspicious of corporations and that affects the bottom line, heck if Microsoft
    • "It can simply come from "good will" and "brand value." Those are items that show up on the balance sheet too."

      (I do a little SFAS 141/142 work and know a couple things about this.)

      Not exactly. Goodwill only shows up on the balance sheet as the excess over book value you paid for another company in an acquisition. "Brand value" is just a subset of that. Your own company's goodwill is inherently reflected on the *income statement*, to the extent that you are generating earnings.

      If another company came
    • Sounds like you're stuck in 1999. That's very much a dotcom sensibility. Use funds from other departments/projects to feed the loss leader until it magically generates revenue.

      IMHO I'm *glad* the guys at Google haven't taken it out of beta yet. It shows they've learned from the stupidity of the dotcom bubble, and are unwilling to threaten the rest of their organization until each and every project can stand on its own.

      And before you start yelling about how much money Google may or may not have, the sent
    • [rumor]Perhaps google will buy out a news entity in the future[/started]

      My guess would be that, if Google bought a news entity, all the other news sources wouldn't have much trouble getting Google News killed. I think the chance of them doing that is very low, but simply because they don't have an interest in providing content.

      From Google's Ten Principles: Google does search. Google does not do horoscopes, financial advice or chat. With the largest research group in the world focused exclusively on so

  • by Lifix (791281) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:35PM (#10388301) Homepage
    Google news is still in beta because it can't differentiate between real news and editorials. As much as I like google news, I get most of my news from rss feeds (slashdot/scifiwire ect...) As far as I am concerned, Google needs to either decide to stay nonprofit with the google news, OR pay out the cash and sell adds.

    Now that I reread this, it's gonna get modded down... oh well. :)
    • Google news is still in beta because it can't differentiate between real news and editorials.

      I wouldn't be so sure about that. Many people want more editorial! The concept of balanced news is fairly new. The press used to be a political tool used by both sides of any issue. Many people, including myself, would like to see that happen again. Editorial is the closest thing to it right now. And often times its the only interesting thing to read.

      Most news stories are duplicates of each other. You hear
    • There isn't a clear line between "real news" and editorials in any case. Editorials sometimes break news, news is often opinionated. The most careful attempts at "balance" introduce their own bias; by presenting two "sides", the author strongly implies that the truth is somewhere in between, when both "sides" might be biased in the same direction and truth happens to be elsewhere.
  • wait, you mean google is useful for stuff other than finding porn and fixing linux kernel module compilation errors?
  • Could they... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:36PM (#10388321) Homepage
    slap some adwords on there, and then feed the content providers portions of the ad revenue based on some model, click throughs or whatnot? I know online news providers are struggling themselves, and it would incentivize them not to require registration (since I avoid the google links that require a subscription). Yeah, that's obvious enough that they've probably thought of it. Maybe it wouldn't be profitable enough for them, or for the content providers.
  • by costas (38724) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:37PM (#10388324) Homepage
    I run a similar, albeit personalized service [memigo.com] (which predates Google News actually) and I'll have to pipe in and say that I doubt that the real reason for the absense of ads on GN is that Google is afraid: first of all, GN drives traffic to news sites, and more traffic means more money for the originating site. Excluding yourself from GN is basically handing money to your competition.

    I think the real problem with GN, is that context sensitive advertising does not work for news. I've been running AdSense ads on memigo.com for a while now and Google never managed to keep up: by the time they spidered the site, the content had changed. Now, let's assume that they can solve this problem since GN is their own site, and they can update immediately: which advertisers are going to rely on context ads for news items? Imagine a story popping up on the US feed about say a Ford Explorer flipping over, with nice big Ford ads next to it: a waste of money and space. And if you try to go the other way, showing ads only for positive pieces of news (hard, but let's say it's doable) you'll be accused of bias and selling out.

    So, the only reasonable choice is to sell non-context ads on GN. It could happen, but I think Google likes a challenge; they'll mine GN clicks and probably do personalized ads before they go back to plain-old ads...

    • Sounds like Google needs a real-time AdSense. Does anyone do real-time ad personalization? hmmm! (wheels turning inside head) :)
    • Wow. This article is waaaay of the mark. Looks like the author really hasn't done much actual research of the content aggregation world.

      News aggregation is the way the whole market is going. Nielson//NetRatings has shown that sites like Yahoo! News and others are now ahead of the news sites in popularity.

      http://www.cyberjournalist.net/news/001562.php

      I work for a company, Moreover Technologies, that has been in the online news aggregation business since 1998. As mentioned in the previous thread, the pu

  • by Hobbex (41473) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:37PM (#10388325)

    Obviously there is a plan here, and it is very simple. Google are simply going to let the service run as beta, until it has enough users (and it is getting there) that the shoe is on the other foot: and the news providers will WANT to be screen scraped.

    I mean, when news pages start seeing that 90% of their article reads are referred from news.google.com, or that do reader research and find that Google News is the number one way that people learn to read their site, then Google can start gladly removing anybody who asks. I have started reading several newssites regularly that I first found via Google News.
  • by Omega1045 (584264) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:37PM (#10388334)
    It seems to me like Google has always done cool first, money second, and since the cool worked so well the money just seemed to follow. If I was to advise them (like they would listen to a non-PhD programmer like me) I would say to just leave it free and open like it is now. It is a very popular site, and they can always use it as good PR and as a linking mechanism to the rest of the Googleverse.
  • So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chrisgeleven (514645) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:39PM (#10388358) Homepage
    I don't understand why news sites would have an issue with Google News.

    Think about it...

    1) Google isn't copying the full-text of an article. At most, its the headline and a paragraph...most of the time it is the headline and a sentence.

    2) Since Google doesn't post the entire article, you have to click a link that takes you directly to the publisher of the article. Google News is therefor generating millions of direct hits per month to various news sites.

    3) These millions of direct hits to these news sites means more advertising dollars for THOSE sites. Since I click link on a NYT Headline listed on Google News, I view *gasp* the NYT web site and its particular article. Which means, any ad dollars I generate there go to the NYT. The horror, the NYT is making more money thanks to Google News then without it (not to mention spreading its name out to more readers, who could purchase even subscriptions).

    So am I missing something? Why would news publishers have issues with a site sending millions of hits per month at the news publisher's sites, generating far more money then if Google News didn't exist.
    • Re:So? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Camulus (578128) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:57PM (#10388573) Journal
      There are only so many people on the internet. Let's say your cnn and cnn.com was the best way for most people to access news (not saying it is, but thing hypothetical here). Now, let's say that a web site sets up a portal that does direct back to your site, but also directs links to hundreds of other sources. While you can get readers from google news, it also provides an easy way for readers of your site to start browsing through 100 other news sites they didn't even know existed. So, for smaller sites, it is good. For bigger sites, maybe not so good.
      • Re:So? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Council (514577)
        I used to use CNN.com. Now I just look at the top stories on Google News and go wherever it sends me. CNN is probably not happy about this. The bigger half of the news companies don't want increased competition. Google News is bad for brand loyalty.

        Imagine if there was some service that told everyone what the best cell phone deal was at any given moment (pedantry: for your particular calling needs. just an example.) All the cell companies but one would be unhappy with it ;)
    • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by escher (3402) * <(the.mind.walrus) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:58PM (#10388596) Homepage Journal
      So am I missing something? Why would news publishers have issues with a site sending millions of hits per month at the news publisher's sites, generating far more money then if Google News didn't exist

      Rule of Humanity #1: Most people are horribly, horribly stupid.
  • They should make TWO news sites. One that takes contributions/payments/whatever from news sites, and that can be used to "help" their stories get "bumped". Then on the SECOND news site, keep it completly "evil free". Oh wait, thats just for my amusement, nvm.
  • by Chimmy Chonga (817689) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:39PM (#10388364)
    My current employment is beta, until I make some money that is.
  • still buggy, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by funkdid (780888) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:40PM (#10388369)
    this morning for example, the fed judge struck down part of the Patriot Act. It wasn't on the main page!? So I searched Google news and it was there but under "CollegeSports.com, NY - 22 hours ago On the heels of what head coach Tim Landis described as Bucknell's most complete effort during his 15-game tenure, the Bison open Patriot League play this week ... "

    Better still was that the aformentioned Bison's (who were on there way to there 3rd straight win) had a whopping 10 articles written about them, the Patriot Act story only had 4 articles listed. I had to take a screen cap and e-mail it out to people. It was hillarious, I guess none of the news orgs had picked up the AP story at that point.

  • So what. (Score:2, Interesting)

    I honestly don't think Google should be sued for presenting news from other sources. After all, Google News is just summarizing the pages it finds and linking to them... just like regular Google does. In fact, many webpages get additional hits because of Google News. It isn't really at all different from any other search engine except that the contents are limited to current events.

    That being said, I know there's a difference between how things should be and how things are. So you don't need to explain wh
  • by kbahey (102895) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:43PM (#10388418) Homepage

    Google News is still valuable to Google, even if they cannot make money off it.

    It is a free service provided for the public that give Google great publicity and a positive image. It does build their brand.

    So, even if you consider it as a loss leader in marketingspeak, it is still valuable to them.

    Now, as an alternate strategy, if they start providing ads for the news outlets themselves? Would the news outlets complain then?

  • by Mulletproof (513805) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:48PM (#10388478) Homepage Journal
    "Apparently, it's because Google hasn't been able to figure out how to make money off of it.

    At $135 per share, I'm thinking somebody has fgured out how to make money off of it ;)
  • by SiliconEntity (448450) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:50PM (#10388499)
    I don't understand why the sites would complain. Take the top news story there right now:
    Bush, Kerry Hope to Win Voters in Debate [go.com]
    ABC News- 1 hour ago
    CORAL GABLES, Fla. Sept. 29, 2004 - Two candidates, two very different tasks for the first presidential debate. John Kerry has to convince voters they should throw President Bush out of office for his actions ...
    You don't get any useful information from that excerpt. You're going to click on the link, which will take you through to the ABC News page. And that page has got ads on it! I just learned how Olay face cream can improve my complexion. So because of Google News, ABC got a page view for its advertiser that it wouldn't have gotten otherwise. The same with the other pages that Google links to.

    It seems that all Google has to do is to get permission from sites to link to their stories. The ones that refuse are giving up a source of revenue. Why would any commercial site not want the most popular site in the world to link to them? Jeez, Google should be charging sites for the right to be indexed by Google News.
    • I don't understand why the sites would complain.

      Yeah, but the big boys will lose. If people go to CNN.com, all of their hits are on CNN. If they go to google news, only a small portion of their hits will be CNN. The more news sites out there, the less chance a certain page will get hit. This is only good for the smaller sites that people don't know about.
    • I don't understand why the sites would complain.

      Because Google is offering an equivalent of a good that costs a lot for news services to provide, and which drives a lot of their business.

      The way that people use a comprehensive news service like a newspaper, or CNN's web site, is something like this - they skim the headlines to get an idea of what the big stories are, and then they read the one or two articles that look particularly interesting. So there are two distinct types of good here - (1) the overv
  • by kabocox (199019) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:51PM (#10388510)
    I've not really thought of google competing with news sources. Why? Because the first thing that I do is open a tab into that news site. Honestly, I don't trust google for news. They are o.k. for getting an overview at a few things that may have been unknown to you. Depending on google for news is like depending on slashdot for balanced reporting and good editing.
  • by jdog1016 (703094) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:52PM (#10388521)
    a search [google.com] on google.com will bring up relevant news articles, and yet also displays ads just like any other search...

    How is that any different than displaying ads on news.google.com itself? In any case, because they are already displaying these News Results, seems to me that they are *already* profiting from Google News.
  • by Enrico Pulatzo (536675) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:54PM (#10388544)
    the best plan to make money is to hold other news sites hostage. Good ole extortion, that's a great way to make money. Offer to make Google News worse if the 10 largest competitors pay up proper.
  • by smclean (521851) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:57PM (#10388578) Homepage
    It's hard to feel sorry for Google, though. In April, lawyers for the billion-dollar search engine company that Sergey Brin and Larry Page founded sent their own cease-and-desist letter to Julian Bond, a British programmer who had created customized RSS feeds from Google News.

    Ironically, the letter informed Bond that Google does not permit "webmasters to display Google News headlines on their sites."

    Apparently someone forgot to tell Google's lawyers about the whole "Don't be evil" thing. How can they think that people accessing google news via RSS is bad for them, especiallysince google is not making money from google news via advertising?
    • Google does not permit "webmasters to display Google News headlines on their sites."

      But they aren't Google's headlines, they're others' headlines that Google scraped.

      Beeezarre.

      Only morons buy into the "do know evil" schtick. Corporations are corporations, neither good nor evil, and utterly predictable.

      Google will drown the news in ads, that's the only possible way they can make money.
  • google could also (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zogger (617870) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @05:59PM (#10388606) Homepage Journal
    Google can tell them dudes if they don't like to be in the news they aggregate, just because they whip a few ads on the side of the page, no probs! Pull em out! They could ALSO stop listing them in their search engine AT ALL. google could even CHARGE MONEY to be in their news aggregator for that matter, at least for for-profit commercial news. They still have a lot of options available to them to combat "copyright" hysteria by the providers. Maybe we could even get rid of "subscription/registration required" news feeds being the top listings most of the time as well. I hates 'em I do. I already wrote google and asked them for a filter for that, I do NOT want to establish a subscription and login/password for one thousand different news websites out there, and eat a thousand more cookies, etc. I just as soon they didn't even show up in the google news feed. I'll take regular old traditional internet rules, "here's my website, go ahead and look at it, that's what it's for".

    Anyway, for an alternative to google, may I suggest to anyoneTopix [topix.net], a similar news aggregator that claims they pull from even more sources than google. I use both myself, about equally.
  • Alerts as SPAM (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HedonismBot (742920) <guiller@gmail.cCHICAGOom minus city> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @06:04PM (#10388639)
    Well, if we are to take my account's spam folder as reference, it seems a bug they have yet to fix is that their auto-generated alerts are junk-mail-like enough to fool gmail's own filters.

    On one hand, it's reassuring to know that not even google.com is whitelisted from the algorithms but, on the other, it's really annoying to need to mark each and every one of them as 'Not spam'.
  • by getafix (2806) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @06:06PM (#10388659)
    Target the news organizations as customers and not news consumers. Tell news organizations that their web sites will get top linking if they pay some subscription fee. Not only will they get top billing on the news page, there could be a link where searches also have a NewsWords feature in addition to AdWords. For example, a search on volcanoes may have 2-3 links to news stories about Mt St Helens.

    Small/niche/local sites can subscribe and get more traffic thrown their way. Big news sites may eventually follow.
  • FROOGLE TOO?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by enigmals1 (667526)

    I noticed Froogle has been in "beta" for almost as long... yet I use is extensively and find it works better than most all the other price comparison engines.

    Dang... I wish everyone had betas so good they were basically production quality. ;)

  • http://www.google.com/googleblog/2004/09/china-goo gle-news-and-source-inclusion.html
  • Google has merely reduced the broadcast news biz to its essentials. Very little reporting is performed by the news services; most is received from their wire service subscriptions. And even those stories are validated against what the other services run. They won't run maverick stories that run counter to the spin from the other news organizations. The classic analysis of this "pack journalism" is the fun read, The Boys on the Bus, by Hunter S. Thompson fellow-traveller Tim Crouse. Manufacturing consensus o [gonzo.org]

  • For decades, multi-billion dollar companies have thrown millions of dollars at advertising agencies in order to promote their products.

    In this cut-throat business (which is fundamentally based on deception in order to make more money) the advertisers threw cash liberally. Now, people seem to be rejecting advertising and have the ability to pick and choose via the internet.

    Where does advertising go from here?
  • by j.leidner (642936) <leidner@@@acm...org> on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @06:38PM (#10388930) Homepage Journal
    Ads are not the only way to make money from GOOG News. It's not a secret that many governments and companies are rather interested in that kind of knowledge aggregation software. They might just use the service to test their software before licensing it to governments, who knows.

    --
    Try Nuggets [mynuggets.net], the mobile search engine. We answer your questions via SMS, across the UK.

  • by mattdm (1931) on Wednesday September 29, 2004 @06:46PM (#10388986) Homepage
    First of all, I can't see how a major offering from a for-profit company can be classified as "not commercial". "Non-profit" doesn't just mean that you're failing to make any money. Even if they don' have ads on this specific section of their site, the *whole thing* is a big ad for Look How Cool And Useful Google Is.

    Adding advertising might cause the site to push the site's whose content they are linking to over the edge, but I don't really see how one can even argue that there's a fundamental difference.

    Likewise, there's not a fundamental difference between Google News and the main Google search site, which _does_ have paid advertising.

    And in both cases, sites which _wouldn't_ want to be indexed seem pretty silly. If you don't want people to find your web site, okay, keep it out of the search engines. Or save your money and don't put it on the web at all. This isn't a matter of fair use doctrine -- it's common sense.

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